Sunday, May 5, 2013

Shalom, Jewish Quarter!

Sundays are our free days, so we checked out a new part of Jerusalem. We didn't have any plan, but just by wandering around we came across some famous places.

Here's a view of the Jerusalem Center as we were walking into the city. My calves are burning just looking at that hill.

We walked through the Muslim Quarter streets that we had been to before, and then all of a sudden ...

...the Israeli flag lets you know you're in the Jewish Quarter! In the last post, I talked a little about the differences between East and West Jerusalem (East Jerusalem being primarily Arab and ancient, West Jerusalem being Jewish and modern). 

Well, it gets a little more confusing. Within East Jerusalem, there is a small area called 'the Old City.' Within the Old City, there are four quarters/sections. There's a Muslim Quarter, Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, and an Armenian Quarter. So, even though you're still surrounded by East Jerusalem, this little neighborhood is all Jewish. 

In the 1948 War of Independence, the Jordanians took over this part of the city and kicked out the Jews, who could then only live in West Jerusalem (and not this historic part of the city). After the 1967 war, the Jews won back this side as well. Walking around today I saw several memorials for the battles in 1948. You could tell it was a very big deal to them to get this neighborhood back.

It's fascinating to be walking around and suddenly start hearing a different language and seeing different kinds of people. I got to speak Hebrew to some people today (while ordering ice cream- such important vocabulary to know in any language).

Totally by accident, we ran into the Hurva Synagogue. 

Before its destruction (in 1948, of course), it was considered one of the most important synagogues in the world. There's been a synagogue in that same spot since the 2nd century. It was just rebuilt (as an exact replica of the old one) in 2010.

Again, by accident we stumbled on this view. This is the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

I'm liking this city; I can't wait to see more.

Tomorrow we have the 'Jerusalem Overlook' field trip where we go to different places with good views of the that will be a start.

Saturdays we have church, Sundays are free days, Mondays are field trip days, and we have class Tuesday-Friday. We're going to start having a lot more classes and homework this week, but I don't think I'm going to think about that yet.


  1. Wow, that looks far to get back to the Center! I'm afraid I'd be the turtle of the group! Can't wait to see pics of the views!

  2. Oh, that is only about 1/4 of the way into the city! It's a looong walk with a lot of hills.